Gas prices will be going up this summer, possibly by as much as 14 percent or higher, CNN Money is reporting. That means that Americans, on average, can expect to pay an average of $2.74 per gallon — or more in some parts of the country.
Gas prices can be expected to go up every summer, thanks to the age-old laws of supply and demand. Summer is when most Americans travel, putting more strain on the nation’s fuel supplies, resulting in higher prices at the pump. The annual summer price increase is so common, and so expected, that it even has a name — “Summer Driving Season.”
And this year’s Summer Driving Season, which as actually already begun (it runs April through September), is expected to be 1.3 percent busier than last summer’s.
Meanwhile, there’s another factor at play here, and that’s OPEC — that is, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Led by Russia and Saudi Arabia, the organization has cut crude oil production of late in order to address a “glut” of crude oil on the market, and to keep prices higher at the pump.
Just how high those prices will go will depend largely on where you live, thanks to factors such as how far you live from refineries (there’s a reason why Louisiana, Texas, and other Gulf of Mexico-adjoining states tend to have lower gas prices); how popular your part of the country is with tourists (which is why Florida tends to have higher gas prices); and of course, the old bugaboo, state gasoline taxes.
Already drivers in California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington State, Hawaii and Alaska and paying over $3 per gallon at the pump. In California, the average price per gallon of gas is $3.59, up from $2.99 this time last year.
Although Americans will be feeling the pain at the gas pumps this summer, they can be grateful that, barring disaster, this summer won’t bring a repeat of 2008. That’s when gas prices reached a record $4 per gallon, as CNN Money reported at the time. So disastrous was that price spike that ripple effects were felt across several industries. For example, General Motors shut down four truck and SUV plants due to lowered demand, and the airline industry shed 3,000 jobs.